For a natural baby bath alternative, this recipe will do the trick. If you are looking to use a natural remedy in your baby’s bath, using simple ingredients that ensures that your baby’s skin is kept chemical-free and feels super soft, then try this easy to make at home method. Reduce your plastics, reuse your muslin and compost the waste. This Baby Bath Soak is easy and fun to make.
[Disclaimer: Please note this post may contain affiliate links. This means I may receive a commission if clicked at no extra cost to you. Though the opinions remain my own.]
Healing Power of Plants
So, if your baby gets dry skin, or you are in need of a remedy for the symptoms of Chicken Pox, Eczema or viral rashes. This easy to make natural recipe can be a lifesaver!
Suitable from Newborns onwards, there are no nasty chemicals or preservatives. A perfect natural option for baby bath time.
Natural Remedies for your Baby
Oats have been used for thousands of years to naturally feed the skin, calming and nourishing it is a great base for this remedy.
Lavender has been used medicinally for centuries and is known to be both anti-inflammatory and anti-septic.
Together these are both safe, natural, edible ingredients. If your baby swallows any of the water, it should not cause any side effects.
Put your oats and lavender together in the bowl. Mix thoroughly.
Scoop out a large handful of the mixture and put into the middle of your muslin square. Tie the muslin closed tightly (WARNING – if it is not secure, the mixture will come out in the bath)
Just throw the bath soak into the bath. The water will turn milky from the oats and the smell will be amazing.
When you have finished, untie and empty the mix into the garden compost. The muslin can be washed and used again.
You can add other lovely things into the mix too, I often cut up some Chamomile Tea Bags (about 8) and put them into the bowl. Again this herb is so gentle on your baby’s skin but is also great for healing and inflammation. If I have any I will sometimes use: dried rose petals (just keep some from your garden) and Calendula (or Marigold), which again is great for soothing skin.
Reduce Your Plastics
Not only is this Baby Bath Soak a great natural remedy to use with your baby, children or in fact the whole family; but you are also reducing your plastics, reducing your waste and lowering your toxic load too! If you would like more ideas on replacing your plastics with more natural solutions, check out the blog over on our Mindful Parenting site. It has ideas on easy ‘swops’, where you can replace some of those single use plastic products that we all have in the home with a more sustainable option.
As the main ingredient is so readily and cheaply available, the cost per bath soak is tiny! You can often pick the lavender from your own garden, or if you are purchasing a bottle of Doterra Lavender Oil then you will realise that it lasts a long time, you should be able to make at least 100 Baby Bath Soaks with just one bottle.
Make Your Own Natural Remedies
If you would like to know more recipes that use natural ingredients, then check out the Home Cleaning Products article. You can also sign up to the monthly Parenting Tips newsletter, which has lots of great resources.
Being a new mum – no book can prepare! Overnight your life completely changes. Many women believe when they are pregnant that their life will be exactly the same as before, just with a baby. Oh my, what a rude awakening that can be! Before we know it new mum guilt kicks in.
Not only are you suddenly meant to become some sort of ‘baby whisperer’ but cope with your body post-natally too! The trauma of birth becomes a taboo subject and you should now be portraying a glowing earth mother – preferably surrounded by an aura of tranquillity!!
New Mum – The Reality
The truth is very different for most new mums. Even the most ‘textbook’ of births can be exhausting, painful and very, very long. For those babies that arrive unexpectedly and early there is often early onset guilt – ‘was it something I did’, ‘I should have known something was wrong’. Then we add a baby, hospital trip, breastfeeding and that’s all before we even get home.
Sleep deprivation kicks in quickly, combined with coping with a new baby and the pressure to breastfeed and those early days often lead to a massive overwhelm.
The Mum Guilt
So, you are now at home, pass the blur of those first few days and the accumulation of lack of sleep is being to take its toll. Gone are the days when generations lived in the same village and offered support. Now, partners take off 1-2 weeks, parents pop in to cuddle the baby, friends drop of lovely presents and then, we are on our own. Our role as a new mum has begun.
What happens, the guilt kicks in. We should be able to handle our baby, cook dinner, clean the house and of course, look amazing too! You look at Social Media, everyone else looks they are having the most amazing time with their new baby or juggling the family and a fabulous career. Surely it’s just you? Why then do you feel this mum guilt pretty much all the time?
No, it affects all us mums! Honestly, it does. In my classes, where I’ve been teaching baby massage & yoga for 15 years it is something I see all the time. It only takes one Mum to speak up, then they all chip in. The truth is that as a new mum we are all faced with challenges, as individual as our personalities. However, the good news is:
You are not alone
There are things you can do to help yourself
What can I Do?
Find some support, from friends and family but also further afield. Join some baby classes locally, there are plenty of different activities out there. Connect with people in person, do not just rely on ‘virtual support’, the posts on Facebook or WhatsApp. It is important that you find other mums who are going through the same stage as you, support of like-minded mums is a very powerful thing! If you are local, then please do check out my baby classes, where so much focus is put on you as a mum. With plenty of time to chat and connect with other like-minded parents. You can see the full timetable here.
Self-Care, I know this is the new current ‘in thing’ but it is so important to take a view on where you are in your priority list. This is something that I know I am really trying to work on. It seems ‘selfish’ to put ourself’s anywhere near the top of the daily ‘to do’ list, but we MUST. If we are too tired, get ill, feel exhausted all the time or risk our own physical and mental health, how can we support our family? You can read about some great ways that I have found to literally sneak in some all essential time for me.
Get out and about. Leave the house, even if it takes you an hour to do it. If you don’t drive, then go for a walk with the buggy. If you can get out to classes, or meet up with friends then do. Getting fresh air is not only good for the body but also for your emotional state. Also, to go out you have to make an effort to get dressed, and sometimes that can seem an unachievable mountain all on its own. You don’t need to be dressed for a night out with full makeup, just not in a onesie!
Try some Mindfulness. I know it is the buzz word at the moment but it can really help create moments where you can feel connected to yourself again. It is also amazing to use with babies! You can grab lots of FREE Mindful Resources over in the Mindful Parenting platform, including a guided meditation that is perfect for listening to for a few minutes.
The thing is to find a way that works for you. Not just the good old bubble bath, but somethings that really make you happy. You can also check out some useful tips to use with the older kids in the Top Tips Blog too.
Ditch The Mum Guilt
So being a new mum is not the picture of mother earth delight it is often cracked up to be.
If you have days in your pj’s, realise you have been out all day with baby vomit down your back, have cried over trying to get a car seat out of a car. Well, then welcome to Motherhood! You are part of a tribe that acknowledges your guilt – but can tell you to let that stuff go! You are doing an amazing job!
If you want to learn how to introduce Mindfulness into your family then my book Mindful Moments is available on Amazon. It has some great ways of how to add in meditation and mindfulness for parents and children.
If you would like some monthly tips on Parenting then do sign up to the newsletter, I promise not to spam you!
No matter what you read or who you listen to, one thing is certain – nothing can properly prepare you for Motherhood. You know you will be suffering from lack of sleep, learning about this new baby and dealing with your body post-birth. The difficulty is, doing it all. So, how can you find some “me time”?
Fill your own cup – This is a variation on a quote that is often seen regarding motherhood. It is the KEY to ensuring that you are able to still give to others. You need to ensure that your ‘cup’ is not always empty. How can you give to others if you have nothing left to give? This is where that all-important self-care routine comes in.
The thing is to acknowledge that in order to still be you and be a mother and partner you need to know that you will need to put some time into your own health. You can read how you can ‘ditch the guilt’ in a previous article. It is not an easy process, every time we even think of doing something for ourselves, the guilt can kick in.
Realising that you NEED to put some energy into your own wellbeing will enable you to be more present in your other roles: Mummy, Partner, Daughter, Employee or Business Owner. So, with that now in the front of your mind, how can you start to find the time and energy for yourself?
Things to try
Take a moment before you get out of bed in the morning to think of something you are grateful for. It does not always need to be the big stuff, sometimes it can be really small such as “the baby only woke once last night” or “it looks like it will be a sunny day”. This Gratitude Practice can often have a profound impact on how we start a new day.
Decide to do one small thing today just for you. Again, it might be to drink a cup of tea when it is still hot! Put on makeup before you go out. Often, just a few minutes needed to complete these small tasks allows us to take a minute – just for us.
Mindful Moments, so when you decide on your one small thing, be present in that moment. Do not make up the next feed while drinking your tea, or talk to your baby when you are putting on your make up. Just enjoy the simple pleasure of completing this one thing, just for you. These Mindful Moments allow our brain some time to rest and re-set and affect not just the brain waves but also our parasympathetic nervous system (the one that controls our involuntary nervous system), so our blood pressure lowers, breath deepens and heart rate slows.
Pick something to read. (Maybe not War & Peace!) Just for the pleasure, whether it is a trashy mag or a book you have wanted to read for ages. Nothing too taxing or large, or you will be defeated and see it as something else you have not finished. This is a great ‘guilty pleasure’ and can definitely take priority over putting the washing on.
Connect with friends and family. It is easy to stay in contact with people over social media but it is really important for your wellbeing to actually meet up with people. Getting out and about is vital for our emotional and social wellbeing. Being a Mum can be a lonely business, being able to chat with other women can really help to reassure us that we are all in the same boat!
Get planning on something bigger, an evening out or meeting friends for coffee or lunch. Book a Massage (great for the body and soul), have your hair cut or maybe even a night away! Just the act of planning allows us to think of something that is not revolving around other people’s needs.
Nap when you can, when your baby sleeps, try and grab some time. The accumulation of sleep deprivation can have a massive ongoing effect on your mental and physical health. The evidence is now clear that a ‘power nap’ can help with brain function (even Google are now promoting power naps for employees!).
Get a cleaner! I know really? Yes, ditch the guilt on the cost. The small weekly outlay will be worth it. You will be at home, baby taking a nap and think “Oh I really should just clean the bathroom, or dust or….” Let’s face it, the list is endless! Knowing that the basics are covered will have a direct impact on your mental health! We are back to the mindset again, remember, your health needs to be a priority too!
Motherhood is the most wonderful thing to enter our lives, embrace it but also believe that you are worthwhile too. Be KIND to yourself. We are often our own worst critics and listening to that voice in our head over the choices we make can be life-affecting. You are doing a marvellous job (yes it is indeed a job – just without pay!). I hope you feel that you can now create your own Me Time with these simple tips.
So, be kind to yourself without guilt. Enjoy your journey with your family and welcome to the ultimate TRIBE – Motherhood!
If you live in Kent, England and are looking to book a massage for some real self-care love then, check out Harmonia Therapies
There is culturally an assumption that all Mothers will naturally bond with their baby, but your baby also is naturally hardwired to seek strong attachment from you too. Babies naturally seek security and we want to provide it. Babies are born ready to love and to be loved. As a parent, it is our goal to love our children but also to instil in them an intrinsic knowledge that they are lovable, which is the foundation of self-esteem. Bonding with your baby is something that most parents aim for, but sometimes it needs some thought.
Parenting – The Hardest Job
But despite a strong intention to bond, often particularly as new parents, we can fret about it, especially if we are prone to anxious thoughts. Being a parent is no doubt the hardest job on the planet, but one that brings such joy and fulfilment. The job doesn’t come with a training manual, but attachment theory and a Positive Parenting approach encourage us to view our children as our instruction manual, as from the moment they are born, they are able to best tell us what they need. Above all, they need to be cherished. There is a lovely quote I found recently written by an American psychologist….” we think of cherished as the emotional equivalent of nourishment. Soul Food”.
So what are the foundations of baby bonding? They are simply created through the day to day, moment by moment response to our baby’s needs, which they communicate to us by crying. Traditional parenting advice has included the idea that babies should be left to cry it out, once their physical needs are met, but all the latest research, including brain imaging, concludes that leaving a baby to cry and prolonging its emotional distress contributes negatively to the brain, by the release of the stress hormone cortisol. Responding to your baby crying is not allowing them to manipulate you, you cannot spoil a child with hugs or connection. In fact the more hugs, the more the brain develops and the more they feel cherished.
Research has evidenced that disruption in attachment is created when there is no response to a baby’s cry.
We respond to our baby’s needs by responding across all the senses with our voice and touch, through our smell by holding them, through feeding and talking, by mimicking their sounds. But one of the most powerful and lovely ways with newborns is through touch. As well as having your baby in a sling on your chest, Baby Massage and Baby reflexology have huge benefits to the bonding process for both Mum and baby.
Attachment theory is the foundation of the Circle of Security Positive Parenting philosophy that I share through my Parenting Coaching Practice. Secure attachment is built through a relationship that creates confidence in the availability of a specific protective caregiver whilst at the same time, that caregiver is able to support their child’s exploration when it is safe to do so. It is this premise that helps children thrive and is the building block for the growth to independence. Our children are dependent on us so that we can guide them, through a relationship of trust to withstand the challenges they will face as they get older.
Guest Blog by Parenting expert Sarah Weller, based in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England, Sarah specialises in Positive Parenting. Read more about her in the bio bellow.
There are Amazon Affiliate links in this article. A small income is made for every purchase, but only products used or endorsed by Rachel Hawkes are linked here.
About Sarah Weller
The Weller Way is a Family Relationship Coaching practice, run by Sarah Weller, a qualified and experienced Parenting Consultant, Coach and Certified NLP Practitioner based in Tunbridge Wells, working throughout Kent and Sussex. Sarah has been married for 30 years to Paul and is a Mother of 4 children, now in their twenties.
Sarah’s Coaching approach is completely holistic, to ensure that the needs of the whole family are met, parents and children. So during the process of helping parents unwrap what is going on underneath the surface of children’s behaviour, Sarah helps parents reflect on their own relationship needs.
Sarah has many years of experience and training for her roles in supporting young people and families in the Mental Health and Homelessness sectors. She is passionate about Mental Wellbeing for the whole family. She is an experienced Licenced Trainer for MIND Fitness and a Mental Health Youth First Aider. As a result, she is also able to offer Life Coaching and Mentoring to troubled teens to boost their confidence and self-esteem. You can contact Sarah or read more from her on any of the links below:
Baby Massage is well known as a great method of increasing the bond between a parent and their newborn. The Online Baby Massage At Home Course is now available – a complete one stop for all you need to confidently massage your baby at home
Rachel Hawkes is the Founder of Buddha Buddies and writes on all things baby and mindful parenting. You can check out her book, packed full of tips for introducing Mindful Moments to your family below.
Well, most mums or Mums-to-be have now heard of baby massage. Classes are now readily available and there are books, blogs and videos for anyone who wants to pick up some techniques. The question is, why are mum’s now adding in Baby Massage as something to do with their baby? Well, I thought I would put together a brief ‘hit list’ of some of the many reasons why Mum’s love massaging their baby’s.
Massage Your Baby – 8 Reasons Why You Should (You Will Love #5!)
Building a bond – The evidence is pretty clear that the connection that is established while massaging your baby has a long term effect on that all-important bond.
Easy to do – Yes, once you know a few techniques it is simple and actually intuitive – let’s face it nature gets us to stroke our baby’s without even thinking about it.
Anyplace – you do not need to be anywhere in particular – no special room is required. You just create the right atmosphere, using low lighting, perhaps some ambient music and you have the setting all good to go. Meaning you can massage your baby away from home, on holiday or perhaps staying at the in-laws.
Fits into your routine – I know, the dreaded routine, though most parents will agree that having one certainly helps. Massage becomes a part of every day. Whether you choose to massage before bed, or perhaps after the first-morning feed. Whatever works for your routine, Baby Massage can slot in.
Calming for baby and parent – It is a double whammy – both the giver and receiver of Baby Massage feel the calming influence. Blood pressure drops, breathing rate deepens and heart rate slows. Those repetitive strokes are as effectual on you, as your baby.
Getting Dads involved – This can often be a tricky thing for new dads, where do they fit in. Especially so if a mum is breastfeeding. So how about making the Baby Massage time the one that Daddy gets to do? A chance for them to connect and enjoy some real quality bonding time with their baby. Poor Daddy’s are often neglected in being part of a routine. Baby Massage is an easy way for them to have that time – just between them and baby.
Mindful Mummy Moments – Mindfulness appears to be the new buzz word – however, for mum,s it can be the most natural thing in the world. You know the moments, when you have just spent 20 mins staring at your baby’s face – now that is a Mindful Mummy Moment. How about being aware of that when you massage your baby? Make that eye contact, talk to them and feel everything else slip away.
Amazing Benefits – Not only all of the previous 7 but also the physical aspect or creating that contact allows for babies to feel more secure, increasing oxytocin levels (happy hormones) and decreasing any of the stress hormones (adrenaline etc) – leading to a baby that feds better and sleeps better.
Everyones a Winner
I know, I nearly burst into song when I wrote that headline but in this case, it really is true. The reason mums are learning to massage their baby’s are the amazing upside without any downside! Benefits for baby, mum and dad so if you have not had a go at Baby Massage yet, then now is the time.
You can also read more about which classes you should choose in a previous blog. Or perhaps you want to check out some of the techniques you can use to Massage Your Baby? If so check out our Pinterest board. If you are live in Kent, you can always pop along to one of the Buddha Buddies Baby Yoga & Massage classes and learn everything you will need to confidently Massage Your Baby at home. You can learn more on the Buddha Buddies website
Baby Massage At Home
If you are looking to learn the techniques of baby massage in the comfort of your own home, then look no further!
This complete course has all you need, with full video instructions, PDF Handbook and support via a VIP Group. All delivered by Parenting Expert Rachel Hawkes. At only £37, it is the perfect way to learn all you need to get massaging your baby TODAY!
Feel free to also connect via Facebook too! I am always popping in there with updates and more videos and tips.
Welcome, I am Rachel Hawkes, owner of Buddha Buddies and mum to twins. I have been teaching baby and kids classes for 18 years and love seeing the connections made and the confidence that builds within classes.
I hope that you will find the advice and tips here useful and that they provide some little ways of helping you on your parenting journey.
If you would like more tips and tools then please do sign up to the newsletter.